What If 'Star Wars' Films Had Post-Credits Scenes?

by Michael Arbeiter

We all remember the ending of Star Wars well: Luke Skywalker and Han Solo traded eager glances in a regal fortress below the brushy hills of Yavi, stepping out before a crowd of allied soldiers to receive acclamation for their bravery in the fight against the vicious Empire. Princess Leia adorned her partners in battle, love, and blood with their medals. Han gave her a wry wink. C3PO looked on with admiration. R2D2 approached, whirring with glee. Chewbacca let out a delighted roar. Everything worked out okay — cut to black! Now that, contemporary blockbuster cinema, is an ending. Gratifying, conclusive, and unsaddled by a vexing post-credits scene. Something we might not be able to say for the movie’s 2015 successor. Yes, that's right, there are rumors that The Force Awakens will have a post-credits scene on the horizon.

Rumor has it that the seventh entry in the Star Wars franchise will follow form of its Disney cousins, the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in slapping a stinger scene at the end of its credit feed. The potential sequence is believed to cater a link between Episode VII and the forthcoming standalone feature, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While it’s tough to decry any advanced look at a new Star Wars property, everyone who has sat through Marvel’s cryptic nods to Thanos and his power crystals knows how anticlimactic these post-credits scenes can feel.

But the notion of The Force Awakens entering the post-credits game makes me wonder what stingers might have capped the Original Trilogy…

Star Wars

To reiterate, Luke and Han are given medals for their contribution to the destruction of the Death Star. Han and Leia's romance is hinted at with a none-too-subtle wink. R2 is fixed up. Chewy is happy to be there. Everything's comin' up space roses. But then...

We see two shadowy figures cavorting in a dank, roomy palace. One is tall, svelte, and heavily armored, and the other squat and bulbous with a reptilian tale. The latter speaks in an indecipherable language. Subtitles clue us in: "I don't care if you have to go through the Wookiee, the whole Rebel Alliance, or even Darth Vader. Bring me... Solo."

So, you know, something like that.

The Empire Strikes Back

Quick recap: Han's been frozen in carbonite and delivered via Boba Fett to Jabba the Hutt. Lando and Chewy are hot on his tail. Meanwhile, Luke adjusts to his new robot hand and the realization that Vader is his estranged dad. Things look dire. But then...

We find ourselves back in the marshes of the Dagobah system. Yoda hobbles out from inside his tree trunk lean-to to meet a spectral Obi-Wan. "He knows about his father," Obi-Wan says. "Knows, he does," Yoda replies. Obi-Wan pauses for the dramatic effect that Alec Guinness' thespian background ingrained within him, before saying, "But does he know about... his sister?"

It'd have kind of ruined the big reveal in Return of the Jedi, but you can imagine that's how they'd have done it in 2015.

Return of the Jedi

Things are on the up and up. Darth Vader has escaped the grips of the Dark Side and, in turn, lain waste to the pure evil Emperor Palpatine. Humanity (and etc) is safe. Yub-nubs all around. But then...

An aging bearded man sits menacingly over a wooden desk, his hands poised on a rusty typewriter. He removes a pair of glasses and wipes the sweat from his brow, ostensibly struggling to think of something. In walks a woman, apparently his wife. She looks concerned. "George, come to bed," she says. "In a minute, Marcia," he hollers. "Must... make... more... mooore... mooo-ooore!"

Images: 20th Century Fox